The Copyright Agency has named Jantiena Batt, Deputy Director working within ACT’s Education Directorate, as the 2022 Reading Australia Fellow for English Literacy Teachers.
Batt receives a $15,000 grant to study the approaches and language used by educators, families, and publishers when engaging with literature that includes non-heteronormative structures of families or relationships. According to Batt, her research will “analyze texts and pedagogical approaches to ensure that our pedagogy does not inadvertently contribute to the reinforcement of heteronormativity as the dominant discourse.”
“This project originated when I was working on the direction of a book,” Batt said. “I fell into the trap of identifying the sexual orientation of the main characters, despite the relationship that takes place in the story. I realized that I didn’t need to include that in the book’s introduction. , and if I had read a book with a heteronormative family structure, I probably wouldn’t have referenced the sexual orientation of the characters. In trying to be inclusive and supportive of all family structures, I was actually opposite.
“This fellowship will help provide recommendations when engaging with literature with non-heteronormative relationships. The ultimate benefit of this project is to ensure access to literature that is both a window and a mirror for all children, coupled with enlightened teaching strategies that reinforce inclusion.
The Reading Australia Annual Scholarship is open to English and Literacy Teachers and Library Teachers with at least five years of primary or secondary school experience. Edwina West was awarded the 2021 scholarship to develop a resource for teachers and teacher-librarians to help students select books that reflect their diverse experiences and address the growing rate of illiteracy or lack of interest in reading.
Read Australia was established by the Copyright Agency in 2013 with the aim of “making it easier for teachers, through their passion and skills, to spread the love of Australian texts”. It now has 260 resources, covering all year levels from foundation to senior secondary, for books aligned with the Australian curriculum.
Category: Awards Local News